I’ve quite neglected this blog. You see, so many things happened in the past year. But the one thing that sticks out the most? My obsession with the game: Bravely Default.
In February 2014, a little box arrived on my doorstep. It wasn’t addressed to me at all. In fact it belonged to my husband. But since he was out of town for the weekend it just sat there, staring at me. He was busy playing Monster Hunter 3 so he said I could try it out…and I did. And I fell in love. Since then I’ve been obsessed with the game, drawing fan art and actively trying to collect what little official merchandise they have. It’s been a long time since I’ve been sucked into a fandom, it really has!
Here are a few drawings I did in 2014 in my sketchbook. I started to really draw more in October for inktober. Since then I’ve sort of kept up momentum. I thank BDFF for bringing me back to drawing! It’s been fun using inks and just doodling for fun.
Thank goodness for all the anime series celebrating anniversaries! Digimon Adventure was my first public fandom where I shared fanart online and even had a little web space dedicated to it. This series holds a very soft spot in my heart.
I feel like I’ve been waiting for what seemed like months for the release of these two Digimon Adventure figures by megahouse. Finally, in February Taichi and Yamato arrived home. It’s a dream to get a decent figure of any of the chosen children with their digimon partners. So when sneak peeks of Taichi Yagami with Agumon and Yamato Ishida with Gabumon hit the internet I was determined to get at least one. Taichi is my favorite of the eight and knew I needed him! I ordered Taichi first and then caved and got Yamato too. I mean, how can you not? They need to be together! I would have regretted not preordering them when they were announced.
The downside is that they are not articulated. They both come with alternate heads that are easily popped on and off. The heads can swivel around but that’s about it. These figures are great as display figurines, but they don’t really stand on their own.
I like the Yamato figure more than the Taichi one. His head sculpt and facial features are cleaner and closer to what he’s based off of than Taichi. And look how adorable Yamato’s alternate face is! I feel that Taichi’s winking face is a bit odd in combination with his smirk. But Taichi’s body language in his pose definitely feels very much like him. I imagine that making Taichi’s mold is very difficult because of that hair!
Although I feel the need to note that these figures are tiny (1/10 scale) for their price (list price at ¥4,800). Compared to my other figures they are just about the size of a pinky:st figure. But despite their tiny size they are really well detailed. I’d recommend it to any Digimon fan because there just aren’t a lot of well made products made, especially now.
After years of seeing favorable mentions for Straw Hat Luffy and his crewmates, last year, in 2013 I finally entered the One Piece fandom. I was immediately hooked and I wondered why it took me so long to pick up One Piece! I love the humor, character development and story arcs. I speed read through the manga so I could keep up with the latest One Piece news and fell hard for the merchandise related to the franchise. I’m not one that usually purchases non-posing figures but the ones sold for the One Piece line are really, really nice. My first OP figures are from the Grandlinemen Series made by Banpresto and I have not been disappointed!
I find the Grandlinemen series relatively affordable and the high quality. Although I don’t have much to compare them to, I am very happy with my purchases. They aren’t rubbery feeling like some cheaper action figure/boxed trading figures. These are lightweight but sturdy feeling. They also come with a really nice base and look great displayed.
I was in the middle of the Marineford Arc when I finally discovered Buggy the Clown’s Grandlinemen figure. I find Buggy hilarious from his first appearance due to his stupidity and he quickly became one of my favorite “villains”. He has some nice headshot detail and I really love his shoes. He comes with a removable jacket, and looks great with or without it.
Next on my wish list was First Division Commander of the Whitebeard Pirates: Marco the Phoenix. I love his facial expression and his body language in his figure. He doesn’t come with any extras, and out of the three that I have he costs the least. If I can only afford a Whitebeard figure I would. Whitebeard is another character that I fell hard for…Ah!
Last but definitely not least is one of my favorite Strawhat Pirates… Franky! Why? Because he’s suuuupperrr!
Franky comes with two heads, one with hair and one without. Everything about Franky is awesome. The details on his shirt and body are amazing. Honestly, I love him so much just because he’s…well… Franky.
It’s going to be a while before I can save up for my next figure (there are so many on my wishlist!). I’d love to eventually get some of the more popular characters like Luffy obviously, or Zoro, Sanji and Chopper. It’s a slow process as I’m coming in pretty late in the game. But I think these figures are definitely worth it. I’m not aiming to have a huge collection but I’m definitely happy with who I do have.
Last Sunday, (July 23rd) was Sonic the Hedgehog’s “birthday” so what’s a better way to celebrate than to do something Sonic related?
Saturday evening I received some Sonic the Hedgehog decals in the mail from etsy shop le 8-bit. The decals are advertised to use on computers and other electronics, but I wanted to use it for something different. They had several Sonic stickers to choose from, and even though I wanted to buy them all I narrowed it down to just two: Sonic jumping and Sonic’s falling, or sort of…”dead” pose. I had my helmet in mind when I bought these, but I was bit stuck, which one to use?
I ended up deciding to use his “falling” pose. Reason behind it is…I’m still pretty clumsy and crash and fall in to things. So… falling Sonic it is! I didn’t feel right having a determined fast Sonic if I can’t represent him well!
I think it looks pretty cute! The decal sticker is made from pretty thick vinyl so it feels like it’ll last for a while. And since I don’t go out much, it’ll probably last even longer! I kind of wish they made more decals, like the trees from Green Hill Zone or something. I think that would be really neat looking, so Sonic doesn’t look like he’s just floating. But hey, I guess I can dream.
It was a bit hazy and wet Sunday so I actually didn’t want to go out. Maybe next week he’ll make his debut if the weather is better. I’m super satisfied though. Watch out for the lady with the falling Sonic on the back of her helmet. She might crash into you!
Figma Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword Link from Max Factory is going back up for a re-release in Fall 2013. Since pre-orders are back up, it reminded me how much I love my Link! I remember the long wait. It was about 6-7 months and by the end of December 2012 (via SAL shipment from Japan) he eventually found his way to me.
Early on I made the decision that he wasn’t going to stay in his box full time. He was totally going to have adventures! But I couldn’t figure out how to get his sword in his gripping hands and I’ve read that others also had difficulty. Some even accidentally broke their master swords handles, and I was super worried I’d do the same!
So I packed his sword and accessories away and Link started his life of as a couch potato. Looks like Link wasn’t very happy about that at all!
The weathers been getting warmer here in the bay area so I decided to visit a local trail and try my hand at outdoor figure photography. It’s one of the few times I’ve taken my camera out of my home, as well as my toys. It was a bit challenging because there are so many things to consider. It was pretty sunny and warm that day, and with the lack of trees and shade most of my photos came out with harsh shadows.
The next weekend I took Link out again for a photo shoot. The next location had more shaded areas which seemed to produce even lighting. I think they turned out a bit better. Next time I’d like to plan to bring all his optional hands and face to have a variety of shots. I can’t wait to take Link out for more adventures. Link is also getting a new ride soon too! It’s a surprise. 🙂
Now would be a good time for anyone interested in getting a figma Link. He has a re-release date of September 2013, and his current price is around ¥3,619. Link was my first figma, and while I don’t find him super flexible he’s pretty well articulated and his details are really, really good. One thing is I wish he could actually sit because most of the time he’s perched on his tunic. But otherwise I’m super pleased with him. So much that I’ve put in a pre-order for the RAH Link coming out at the end of November. A 30cm tall action doll of Link! I know it’s a different company, but I can’t pass up another Link!
Back around 2009 I started collecting cute tea pots, cups and kitchen accessories. While searching the internet I stumbled across adorable tea tins by Karel Capek Teatime Shop and was charmed by their simple and darling designs. I did a quick search on them and almost nothing came up and if they did they were either several years old (2007), referred to visiting the actual tea store in Japan, or were about the Czech writer. I eventually found an site in english that was actually selling a few tins, but they had a very limited supply because they were closing shop. I took my chances and ordered whatever was left for my first collection.
After receiving these two I was instantly hooked. I wish I could read Japanese, because each tin comes with a little packet of tea and preparation instructions. I immediately searched the Japanese Karel Capek Online Store to see what they had available and to learn more. Through an online translator I navigated the site and fell even more in love. The shop is owned by Japanese illustrator Utako Yamada, who also designs post cards, books and other accessories. Desperate for these tins, I used an online deputy service to order the tea and some cute post cards directly from the site. The post cards are really adorable and printed on soft paper. I had these postcards on my cubicle walls at work for quite some time.
One of my favorite designs are the ones with the lambs. They look so cuddly and adorable. The Grape Tea is a bit different from the rest of the tea tins. The design is actually printed on a paper label. I wasn’t aware of that at the time when I ordered, but it’s alright because it’s still really, really cute. I just have to be a little extra careful with it so I do not stain or damage the label.
When you order from the direct shop years ago they also included some packs of individual English Garden tea as well. The tea was a bit bitter for my taste, but I don’t mind because of the cuteness factor of the package. I think they look so adorable with the rest of the kitty tins.
Currently I have 12 cute tins from Karel Capek tea store and I would love to continue collecting them. The tea tins are about 10cm in height and normally cost anywhere around ￥1,575 – ￥1,260 per tin. The stock changes seasonally, so it’s best to keep an eye out for new designs and color combinations. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to taste them all, but I hope to have time to. Most of the tea smell delicious! The shop also sells glassware, gift sets and cookies. Everything on the site looks adorable. If I ever have the chance to go back to Tokyo, I will definitely search out the shop. I am sure it will take a lot of restraint to not purchase everything!
I wanted to do a tiny modification to my pinky:st figures and I’ve had these nail decals for what seemed like quite some time in storage. All three were purchased from Sephora while on clearance. I was lucky to grab the tokidoki ones right when they announced it was being discontinued. With most of the nail decals, if you wait long enough they’ll go down in price–and they are super cute! The Hello Kitty decals are a bit smaller than the tokidoki ones as seen in the photo below.
Here are the tokidoki nail decals side by side with a pinky. I like that the tokidoki decals are colorful and have a variety of characters. Some of them have tiny jewels but they are pretty small and aren’t too distracting. When I first bought the decals I thought they’d be the perfect size. But when comparing them next to the pinky they seem like they might be a bit too large. Still, I wanted to test them out and see how they look. It can’t hurt, right?
It turned out quite nice for a simple modification of adding stickers to select pinky parts and I am satisfied. In the future I’d like to repaint their shirts and then add the decals. I have not experimented with attempting to seal the designs yet, but since the Hello Kitty decals have duplicate designs I may make it a project for a later time.